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35 Years Ago: Judas Priest Break Through With ‘Screaming for Vengeance’

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Judas Priest‘s best-selling and highly influential album Screaming for Vengeance – best known for the breakthrough hit “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” – was released on July 17, 1982.

In addition to that enduring anthem, the album is notable for being one of the most cohesive collections in the band’s entire career, and the point where Judas Priest blended heaviness and catchiness to their extremes.

From the sleek double-time chug of opener “Electric Eye” to the even more frantic “Riding on the Wind” and the somehow yearning “Bloodstone,” all the way to the steadily unfolding and unbearably sing-able album-closer “Devil’s Child” (“I beleeeeeeeeeeeeeve you’re the Devil…”), there’s never a second to be bored.

As AllMusic notes quite smartly, “The results were catchy and accessible, yet harder-hitting, and without the awkwardly apparent calculation that informed the weakest moments of the album’s two predecessors.”

The band’s former guitarist, K.K. Downing, has shared his memories on the creation of this landmark record with a blog post on his official website, stating in part that he feels Screaming for Vengeance connected so well because it “has an undeniable completeness about it. By that I mean a good and varied selection of songs, a cool cover and an overall uplifting feel that was perfect for the time when it was released.”

That seems like a complicated way of saying something totally rocks but hey, sure, whatever — sounds good to us! The album obviously continues to resonate in modern culture. Judas Priest returned to the mainstream via the almighty “electric eye” of television in a surprising way in 2010, as the soundtrack to a surprisingly cool mini-van commercial.

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Next: Top 10 Judas Priest Songs

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